Exercise and Screen Time

Exercise

Children and Adolescent need vigorous exercise at least 1 hour per day.  Vigorous exercise includes running, jumping, swimming, and walking briskly.  This is typical not a problem for children under 6 year; however, as kids get older there are more demands on their time including school, jobs etc. that may inhibit this exercise.  The recommended 1 hour can be broken up over the day and includes recess, gym, walking to school, after school sports. Also limiting screen time helps.

Screen Time

Screen Time includes any device that has a screen including TV, video games, computers, Ipad, cell phone etc.  The Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children less than 2 years, because this can cause a decrease the child’s expressive language or vocabulary.  Over 2 years, the recommendation is no more than 2 hours of screen time a day.  The reality of life is that parents often watch television or there are other children older than 2 in the house that watch television.  I suggest a practical guide is no specific screen time for the children under 2 years (ex Sesame Street, Cartoons) but they can be in the room when the TV is on.  Then the following guide for older children…

2-4 years 30 minutes/day of screen time
5-7 years 60 minutes/day of screen time
>7 years Maximum of 2 hours/day of screen time*

*Schoolwork on the computer is not counted in these 2 hours